Swoon and Monica Canilao are two artists who are well known for their epic installations and mixed media pieces that utilize debris that they have collected and rebuilt. We first featured Swoon’s work in Hi-Fructose Vol 36, and have featured Canilao’s dreamy works on our blog, each unique for her use of media and techniques, but sharing a quality that makes us reconnect with things that are “lost and found”.
For over a year, Swoon has been acquiring pieces for a project that she calls the Dream Reliquary, “a sculpture containing a large repository of dreams transcribed from people all over the world”. Combining their common love for reworking forgotten things, Swoon and Cailao collaborate on the reliquary in their current exhibition of new works at Chandran Gallery in San Francisco. Titled, “Witch-Wife”, a reference to a poem by American poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay, their exhibit features an immersive display of sculptural objects and Swoon’s wheat pastes inspired by images that come from analyzing dreams.
“The drawers contain dreams collected from people all over the world. The dream reliquary contains an ongoing collection of dreams,” Swoon writes at her Facebook page. “Sculpture created as part of the museum of curiosity.” Swoon’s new works also include her signature paper portraits, where delicate layering of fragmented images and symbols within each piece further enhances the dreamlike qualities. Canilao’s series is composed of detailed mixed-media pieces that evoke ceremony and ritual. “These reworkings of history and newborn mythology are shaped and guided by my experience in the moments of their creation,” she says. “For me, making art is about making living sacred.”